Law Access to the law for all citizens
Legal tech is all about the digitization of the legal industry. But it also represents a new way of thinking that is producing new customer-centric services and increasing the accessibility of the law for all citizens. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has driven forward the slow process of digital transformation.
Five years ago, the concept of “legal tech” swept through the legal industry like a whirlwind, stirring up a real sense of excitement. It seemed as though, within just a short period of time, technology would increase lawyers’ productivity and fundamentally change jurisprudence for the first time in history. Once the initial euphoria died down, the level of interest decreased again and a degree of scepticism took hold. There was uncertainty about the capabilities of new technologies and the impact of digital transformation on the legal industry and its various stakeholders. Legal tech is not just about digitizing processes — it’s fundamentally about change. This was a change most lawyers were not at all keen on. Change is distressing and always brings a great deal of work along with it. And lawyers have enough work to do already.
Previously, many people did not realize that we have already been living in the era of customized mass processing of legal work for a long time. For years now, legal tech platforms have been working on solutions that move away from individual case analysis and standardize everything that can be standardized so it can then be automated. The result of this is online legal support conducted without personal contact with customers. Although this may not sound very romantic at first, it has the advantage of making legal services affordable for a large proportion of the population.
However, if an industry that dates back centuries is to successfully master the digital transformation process, it must have a good knowledge of technology and be willing to break new ground. Both these things have been lacking so far. As dramatic and unpredictable as it has been, the coronavirus pandemic has provided real momentum for the digitization of the legal industry. Two years ago, digitization simply represented an idea of how the world could be. This idea suddenly became reality. Even the most forward-thinking minds in the legal industry struggled as everything had to be implemented so quickly and many stakeholders were caught off-guard. Nonetheless, the pandemic opened the eyes of an entire industry and revealed new possibilities.
After these turbulent months, nobody is seriously questioning whether or not investing in digitization is worth it. The only questions are how and where. Legal tech has established itself as part of operational business. While lawyers now need to complete further training to bring their technical expertise, project management and digital communication up to date, citizens can expect new customer-centric services and improved access to the law.
Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.
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